Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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DAVIES , OWEN ( 1719 - 1792 ), Independent minister ;

b. in a small cottage, where there was a fulling mill, on the Erwyon estate near Ffald-y-brenin, Carms. As a young man he joined the Independent church at Crofft-y-cyff , began to preach at the age of 24, was ordained there in 1743 , and laboured there acceptably as minister and schoolmaster until 1765 , when he was called to Capel y Graig , Tre-lech, Carms. There, he was very successful for over twenty years.

In 1787 dissension broke out in Glandŵr church, Pembs. , concerning both doctrine and discipline. Some were of the opinion that the minister , John Griffiths ( 1731 - 1811 ) (q.v.) , was too much of a Calvinist . Seventeen members who showed a tendency to Arminianism were excommunicated by Griffiths . Owen Davies considered the discipline inflicted too severe and indicated that he was prepared to take them into his church at Tre-lech . The congregation, however, opposed this, although there was never any suggestion that he himself was inclined to anti- Calvinist views. A few left the church with him and he preached to them at his own house at Dinas . In 1787 , when Rhyd-y-parc chapel was built, between Tre-lech and S. Clears , and about nine miles from the latter place, he took over the ministry there and remained there until his death, 6 July 1792 . The congregation gradually became Arians and then Unitarians . Towards the end of his life he showed a desire to heal the breach. He expressed a wish to be buried in the graveyard at Capel y Graig , and this was done although a grave had been opened for him at Rhyd-y-parc . A new chapel was erected at Rhyd-y-parc in 1860 when Titus Evans (q.v.) was minister , but the congregation diminished and it was closed in the nineties.

Sources:

  • Hanes Eglwysi Annibynnol Cymru , iii, 400, 555-6;
  • Y Tadau Anibynnol , 1898–1900 , ii, 158-9;
  • Yr Ymofynnydd , 1884 (123-4, 279), 1930 (21-6);
  • Carm. Welshman Antiq. Notes , 15 Dec. 1905 .

Author:

Rev. Professor John Oliver Stephens, M.A., B.D., (1880-1957), Carmarthen

Published date: 1959